What I wasn’t prepared for

Today was the day.

Having started our lesson planning and teaching training the previous week, I thought I had most of what I needed to teach yoga. I reached out to some of my friends to practice with me. Truth be told, it was not warmly accepted, but I understood. I, for myself, remember giving a firm no to a friend who invited me to yoga a couple of years back. Until April this year.

Today was the day. And I have my three brave beautiful guinea pigs.

I already had my sequence ready. I had two options for my beginner class. I just had the Savasana pose to figure out. So I researched on how to transition smoothly in and out of the savasana pose. The whats and hows of it. It is a big topic by itself. And with that done, I should be ready.

And today happened.

Easy-seated breathing. Giggling in one mat. It’s starting to dawn to me this will not go as planned. This was a gentle reminder of what Hui Yan has said about beginner classes. But I didn’t think it could start so early in the class. So I guided my friend back to focus and bring awareness to her breathing. Lesson 1 – When teaching friends, set the mood ahead.

Standing and seated Half forward bends. All three of them were rounding from the spine. I thought, good!, time to practice my adjustments. I guess it went OK. Or well. They could finally, probably in their adult life, reach their toes! I felt like I accomplished something. Yay! Pat on the back. Lesson 2 – It’s good to know they achieved something.

Plank. Knee Chest Chin. Cobra. Downward Dog.

Adjustment time. At this time, I started to think – if I continue this until the end of the session, I will never be able to give them a “real” yoga experience. I was not satisfied. But I guess that’s a thought for me. I’m probably making a difference, even if small, to them right now. So I encouraged myself. Lesson 3 – Their experience is not my experience.

And then we jumped to lunge. Back to downward dog. Child’s pose.

I’m a hundred percent sure I’m completely lost in my class now. Suddenly I was talking about a pose we did fifteen minutes ago. And then switch to another pose and talk about a pose that we are not gonna be doing. They would occasionally react and say something, or just nod their heads. I didn’t really know what they were feeling. But I know I was interpreting them like I would on other people. And I’m definitely not happy. Lesson 4 – Always have a back-up plan. And stop explaining too much.

I guess this is the difference between make-believe beginner classes at the studio and beginners classes for actual beginners.

Lesson 5 – Never stop learning.

Namaste.

 

Cher
(200hr Yoga TTC 07/14 weekend)